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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Henry Beasley

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

 

Due to recent events in the country, we have to ask ourselves:  Are we prepared for a disease outbreak???” Current events are concerning the measles epidemic that has hit the west coast.  We have to ask ourselves “what if” it happens in our city and is our transit agency prepared to handle this situation. 
In past practice the company has isolated individual buses during the Whooping cough scare (Article Here!), but mistakes were made during that time.  Looking back through the years and writing our paid representatives concerning the cleanliness of our transit system and the lack of attention paid to our wellbeing.  We then need to reflect back on this article, way back in 2011 published by the Oregonian (Article Here) which was forwarded to our representatives as a concern for operators/service workers/mechanics, unfortunately it was ignored. 
Fast forward to today and ask yourselves this question, has it gotten any better since that article, the answer is simply NO. 
Currently, there are only 6 bus cleaners (not the same as service workers) for three garages meaning staffing is ill-equipped to handle cleaning the fleet on a yearly basis, while there are priorities on things you can see, what about the things you can’t?   During this time we’ve had cases of MRSA, staph infection, whopping cough (scare), ringworm, upper respiratory distress and mysterious rashes.  The buses have progressively gotten worse over the years since this article came out and the fleet continues to age while the HVACs and the ducts continue to gather mold and other infectious bacteria without being regularly serviced to protect the frontline workers or the general public we service. 
 

As always we must protect ourselves from sickness at all times so a few helpful hints for our brother and sisters:

1.       Soap and water:  wash down the things you touch the most, the steering wheel, door handle and gauges.  This is simply the best preventative measure to lessen the possibility of catching something.

2.       Open your roof hatches:  There must be airflow to keep any air borne illnesses from coming your way.  If you use the climate control/AC (that has not been serviced) you want to keep fresh air moving through the bus.

 

Lastly, Protect yourselves at all times while you are out there because no one wants to be sick especially with the cuts in our healthcare, and no one wants any added expenses for something that can be prevented by the company.  We all earn sick time but we also get time loss as a consequence of getting sick.  So take a little time to remember your health and pray that no epidemic comes our way.

 

 

Henry Beasley

Your Brother on the Frontlines

Union Strong

 

Some reference material:

 

Oregon figures mirror a national trend of rising numbers of measles cases: 17 from 2000 to 2012, or about 1.3 a year; six in 2013; five in 2014; and the Lane County case so far this year.

 


 


 


Riders urged to be watchful for signs of measles infection

BART and Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) are urging riders to seek medical attention if they exhibit any symptoms of measles after CCHS learned that a person infected with the contagious disease traveled on BART in the East Bay last week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says measles has been virtually wiped out in the United States thanks to vaccinations but the disease still poses a risk to those who have not been vaccinated.

The person infected with measles traveled between El Cerrito del Norte and Downtown Berkeley stations on Tuesday, February 4 through Friday, February 7 between 8 to 10 am and in the afternoon/evening commute hours.

The measles virus is transmitted through the air and the virus can live in the air for up to two hours. BART uses industrial-strength disinfectant to clean its trains at the end of the line during the day and each night.

According to CDC, “the symptoms of measles generally begin about 7-14 days after a person is infected, and include:

• Measles Rash
• Blotchy rash
• Fever
• Cough
• Runny nose
• Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
• Feeling run down, achy (malaise)
• Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth (Koplik’s spots)

For more information about measles, visit http://cchealth.org/

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